April 24, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

In death, Russian leader Yeltsin remembered as larger than life

From Hungary to Ireland and Brazil to Turkey, news of the death of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin was shared with readers around the world.

A hero to the West for bringing democracy to Russia, Yeltsin left a mixed legacy. “He changed a nation. Still, Russians remain ambivalent about his legacy,” the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram said. “Russian president left complex legacy of freedom, chaos,” The Seattle Times said. The Herald of Glasgow, Scotland, called Russia’s first post-communist president a contradictory figure. “Shrunken giant,” said The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, which quoted former world leaders on the front page and referred to Yeltsin’s obituary inside.

An animated figure, Yeltsin was shown waving in many newspapers, including SME in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Iltalehti in Helsinki, Finland, pictured him dancing at a rock concert, and the Público in Lisbon, Portugal, showed him standing in front of a statue of Vladimir Lenin. Fist raised, Yeltsin was shown atop a tank in a Chicago Tribune photo. Mlada Fronta DNES in Prague, Czech Republic, published one of the few photos of Yeltsin not smiling.

In newspapers including The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, The Boston Globe and The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Yeltsin’s death was paired with news of a second death. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author David Halberstam died in a California auto accident, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The Iraq war returned to some front pages with news that Democratic congressional leaders agreed on legislation requiring an Oct. 1 withdrawal and a report that nine U.S. soldiers were killed at a military outpost northeast of Baghdad. “Duty at outposts and police stations makes them more vulnerable,” the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman quoted soldiers as saying.

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy, a former newspaper Page One editor, is director/diversity programs.

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